Wednesday, August 03, 2005

REACT: Chicago suburb flies white flag in Iraq

There is an old joke about a guy blowing a horn in downtown New York. When asked why, he responds that the sound repels elephants. When advised that there are no elephants in New York, he proudly attributs that fact to his activity. We can pause while you catch your composure.

Many years ago, I lived in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, and recall when town leaders declared Evanston an "atomic bomb free zone." There were signs on chruch lawns -- you know, the never named religious left -- and in windows of the tweedy set. Well, I have to confess, Evanston has been spared nuclear devastation. No elephants in New York, no atomic bombs in Evanston. Hard to tell which is the joke.

Somehow, in their zeal, the alderpersons of Evanston never considered the absudity of their meaningless gestures. Crime was on the rise -- with drugs and gang activity as the only growth industry. The budget was bloated. Taxes soaring. Regardless, Evanston decided it needed a foreign policy.

Weeeell, they're doing it again, and this is no joke -- even though I find it difficult to stop laughing. This time the lakefront community is advancing a resolution to require our troops to withdraw from Iraq. Actually, two years ago, Evanston passed a resolution opposing the commitment of troops in Iraq. At least they are consistent.

Not many communities have a foreign policy, so maybe this is an effort to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the silliest municipal resolutions -- or the most unsuccessful ones. Maybe the record for the greatest number of times citizens of a small city can embarrass themselves.

So ... thanks to my old neighbors in Evanston for brightening my day with a bit of humor.

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